You may have a strategy for your education, a plan for your finances, and an exercise routine … but what about your career? Busy people need to look at managing what they want to achieve in their career and start planning how to get it.

I come across a variety of working men and women who attribute being “I’m just in a dead end job” to a combination of reasons. Whether its’ thinking you don’t have enough time to update your resume, you are consistently swamped with work, or you don’t have formal qualifications, there are always ways around career roadblocks. You just need a strategy.

Think about what you want. Identify what you want and where you want to be and that way you can quickly eliminate job opportunities that don’t help you get where you want to be. You need to be able to ask yourself questions such as “What is important to you”, “What do you value?”, “What are your special skills and talents?” and “What type of work roles interest you”.

For instance, there is no point in taking a role in a local business just because it is close to home if you want to work for an international company that offers inter-company promotions.

Self assess. Many people look at themselves through rose coloured glasses. It’s easy to identify the flaws in your manager and colleagues but it’s important to take the time to look at yourself objectively and take ownership of your own inadequacies. We can only take responsibility of our own behaviour, and sometimes this needs to take other people into account. Maybe you dictate each task to staff rather than empower, or come across as moody or impatient. You might need to complete an external course to compliment your experience. Accepting self-development where needed will help you to identify where you might be going wrong in the progression of your career and how you could avoid repeating your mistakes.

Your personal brand. Do you want to stand out from your competitors? Do you want to be fast-tracked on the internal promotion list? It’s not usually the best product that is the most successful but rather the best marketed product. In the same way with the corporate world, it’s not necessarily the most talented, the hard working or most liked that effortlessly climb the corporate ladder but instead those who are able to build a clear reputation for excellence.

Recognise and leverage what you are known for doing really well and how you add value to your employer’s bottom lines.  Get to know your target audience. Identify who the decision makers are in that next promotion decision, what they need and what they are looking for in the future for the company and its staff. Keep in mind – how you are packaged is how you are perceived.

Sort out your priorities. If you’re skipping networking events to write reports you’ll never create new opportunities. It’s time to stop bypassing your work colleagues and business contacts, because they’re the people who could introduce you to the perfect career connection, and it’s their get-togethers that open up opportunities.

At Contec, we want to hear how you have overcome career road blocks to get where you are today.